Come on Harry

So much in recent days has been written about our young people in the papers. And so many of them are beginning to experience the reality of the state of the economy, as those in power seek to disempower young people who seemingly can do little to defend themselves.

But is that true in this century? Has there been a shift politically and internationally re young people’s rights? It is heartening, although also tragic, to see young people rise against the civil servant and politician (who live in cahoots with their banking friends) and to demand their rights to an affordable education, housing and jobs.

And why would any nation in its right mind seek to undermine its youth -who is going to carry the legacy of culture forward into the future? What is it all for -all this thrashing by the big boys of stuff like the olympics etc if not for the future of our young people? Ah yes, the ego -I forgot about that – oh, and money.

Watching The Deathly Hallows last night, I couldn’t help but see Harry and his friends as the working class youth of today – half-bloods, muggles -creative to the core yet the evil toff-magicians wanted to destroy them all. And isn’t that the case now? Isn’t that exactly how it is in the real world of Britain today? Because let’s face it, the middle classes especially, have always been scared of the true creative grit and talent of the working classes and have always tried to copy it or steal it.

You want Harry Potter to win, to beat down Voldemort and god knows his power is so very strong right now. But Harry has something on his side, which V doesn’t have really  -and that’s loyal friends, an inner core of  solid goodness and protection by spirits past. Although he doubts himself, feels lonely at times and guilty that he puts others at danger, he is very much respected – and he does have exceptional magical ability. Will he win – most likely yes. Will our young people win -most likely no.



Too much writing going on to blog  -so here’s some thoughts from the night

1. I am writing in one language while thinking in another

2. Young people are protesting, civil servants are earning

3. The old get to do their thing, the young always have to fight for it

4. We salvage ancient artifacts, but deny  others exploration

5. We keep alive Baroque, Bob Dylan and Meatloaf but don’t allow young people to promote their thing

6. Cerise or pink?

7. Underground is bigger – you’re just not looking

8. Give me an interesting mind any day

9. Insularity breeds contempt, hatred and war

10. World peace is okay

11. You are as big on the inside as the universe on the outside

Foraging through the human mind

I believe quite firmly, that humans and fungi have a lot in common. Delving deeply into my current writing project and taking time to savour the personalities of my characters; I can enjoy the subtle flavours of each as it develops.

The last two years I have ripped my way through nanowrimo, in sixth gear letting my mind do its thing, bringing in people from the subconscious and adding them to the pot of plot soup.

Not this year, there’s a sense of darkness and deepness that is foraging for fungi in the woods -further in like Red Riding Hood, secretly willing the wolf to appear.

As my life reveals over recent months the devious, selfish and festering minds of unfulfilled adults -reaching a maturity of age, yet not of soul -my heart grows cold towards them. They have become fly-infested mushrooms. There’s not much can be done about their existence, but it is a shame to think that a person can get so far in life and then go off.

The thing about fungi is you can’t always tell what’s edible and exactly at what point.

I’ve been foraging in the past -as a child with an Austrian woman who was a keen gardener and gatherer -she knew where to look for food in city parks and woods. She would explain very carefully to me how fungi worked under ground, how beautiful they were above (sometimes) and how dangerous they could be. Like people, she said.

“Mushrooms are like people, all kinds everywhere around you. They are at their best for a short time then they grow dark and deadly and fall apart. These purple ones are pretty, but they will make you sick. And you know the big red one is bad and you shouldn’t touch it.” she once told me.

She carried on,”This one is strong, growing out of the tree and this one here hiding under the bracken is playful -a big round ball begging to be kicked so it can spread its spores further. These are good to eat -at the right time of course.”

“Then there are the small ones, oh so similar to each other with inky caps or orange tendrils -it takes an expert to decide which are good for you and which will make you hallucinate”

And so the world of fungus has influenced my writing this season, quite aptly. Mushroom soup is my favourite, as are people despite the rot that sometimes sets in -I’ll never be turned off my soup.

Extract from The Edge (unedited)

As the pot of water bubbled on the stove, he turned down the heat and spooned in a large mound of finely ground coffee beans. Dark and rich, the smell was always comforting. He stirred whilst bringing the pot back to the boil. The coffee was ready – strong and dark and thick. There was a set of small cups and saucers on the shelf above the stove. Mirko took one down and placed it on the table, along with the coffee pot and a bowl of sugar cubes. He took a shot glass from the corner cupboard and pulled out a bottle of grape spirit. The table was almost set for the morning ritual,just the ashtray was missing.

Once everything was in place, Mirko opened the doors to the balcony and sat on the chair soaking in the heat of the morning sun. He loved mornings, especially when he was alone with time to think and not being hassled to have his breakfast. Coffee and spirit was a good breakfast he thought to himself. The sun shone into his dark eyes, darker than the black coffee by his side. Nothing penetrated his eyes, they were almost black. His face was slender, and his nose long and thin with curled nostrils that gave him a dismissive air.

He lit his cigarette and inhaled through his curly nostrils, sucking his cheeks in then releasing the smoke through his mouth. It felt good. It took the edge off a bad night’s sleep.

I think he’s the strong, edible kind…we’ll see.